- 6 minute read
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) should be intrinsic to your employer branding to compete for today’s talent. New studies consistently show ‘an inclusive culture’ as one of the top three considerations for candidates when choosing a new position, behind compensation, and flexibility.
But savvy candidates know that culture is more than the words and images on careers sites, or a long list of benefits and perks. It’s how your people, policies, and practices shape up. And evidence of those in practice.
How do you align your employer brand to diversity and inclusion efforts?
A few tips:
- Communicate your commitments to diversity and inclusion
- Showcase how you’re supporting diversity and inclusion
- Activate employees as advocates for your brand
- Engage leaders as active role models
- Create a hub for your D&I activity
1. Communicate your commitments to diversity and inclusion
Start with sharing your vision for diversity and inclusion. What does it mean for your organisation, and why does it matter? You need to understand the business case, and how diversity and inclusion supports wider business goals and strategy.
So many employers fall at this first hurdle, from not knowing why D&I is strategically important. Simply ‘being the right thing to do’ will not resonant as well as ‘D&I drives innovation, increases productivity, and improves mental health and wellbeing.’
Diversity and inclusion should be embedded within core business values and mission statements, and communicated both internally and externally to reinforce the message at all levels.
Quick win: Incorporate a statement of your commitments to diversity and inclusion across every candidate touchpoint, from job boards and ads, to LinkedIn pages and careers sites.
2. Showcase how you’re supporting diversity and inclusion
Employers successfully attracting talent are backing up their words with actions. Sharing employee testimonials, internal activities (ERGs and diversity awareness campaigns etc), community outreach, inclusive policies and benefits, and progress toward diversity and inclusion goals.
Often this information is updated on company intranet sites, but not repurposed for external employer branding channels such as social media, careers websites, talent events, or job ads. These proof points tell candidates that D&I is actively embraced and actioned throughout the year and not just on awareness days.
Quick win: Add a social feed or careers blog to your company website to provide candidates with a snapshot of the latest inclusion activities and employee stories.
3. Activate employees as advocates for your employer brand
Stories told by employees about their experiences and progression are the most impactful way to enhance your employer brand. It’s an opportunity for candidates to get a sense of the company culture, which we already know is incredibly important to today’s jobseekers.
76% of jobseekers look for diversity and inclusion when deciding whether to accept a job offer.
Having strong advocates will not only help to attract new talent but will also show what’s possible for current employees. But, be sure to capture these stories in an ethical way, particularly when highlighting personal aspects about someone’s identity or circumstances. Check out our guide to ethical storytelling.
Quick win: Start by leveraging peer-to-peer recognition and employees who actively advocate for the company on social media.
4. Engage leaders as active role models
We all know that the culture of an organisation filters down from the top. What leaders say, and more importantly what they do, sends a loud signal to the rest of the business about what’s acceptable and what isn’t. It starts with the very first point of this article, having leaders understand ‘the why’ for the organisation and having their buy-in.
Next, leadership teams need to actively communicate the aspirational journey, and how they think they will achieve their goals. And this should be done continuously throughout the year at every opportunity. It’s obvious those who are truly committed to the cause, versus those who see it as a tick box exercise.
Quick win: Include a statement or video from the executive sponsor for D&I talking about why it’s central to the business. Even better, get them to talk about what it means to them personally.
5. Create a hub for your D&I activity
It’s said that a message needs to be repeated at least seven times before it sticks with a consumer. The same can be said for colleagues and teams. We all take in information differently and what you say might be different to what others hear.
So, repeating the message in different ways and formats throughout the year will help people move from awareness to understanding, and then transition to the ability to act. And this is when we see behavioural changes which lead to allyship and inclusion. These messages can be reinforced through office art, on lanyards and mugs, or through events, colleague stories, blogs and videos hosted on an internal hub where people can learn at their own pace.
Don’t be afraid of overcommunication. Repeating how D&I is essential for teams and the success of the business will create clarity and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Quick win: Audit your communications channels for variety of D&I content and formats to suit different learning styles. This will help you fill in the gaps and plan your comms for the year ahead.
Want help with your communications?
At ThirtyThree we have heaps of experience of helping businesses in all sectors communicate their culture and D&I aspirations. From building propositions and strategies, to award-winning creative campaigns – we bring the insights and understanding you need to find new audiences and engage internally.
If you’d like to talk about how we do it, get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org
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